Jeannette's Cox named Greensburg Tribune-Review Male Athlete of the Year
Jeannette · senior · football, basketball
There has been a brief period of fun and games for Demetrious Cox, since his graduation from Jeannette this month.
Pretty soon, Cox said, the party will be over.
“This is it,” Cox said. “I'm having some fun right now with my friends, but I've been kind of focused on looking ahead to something I've been looking been forward to all my life. I can't wait to get there.”
Cox, the former Jeannette quarterback who rushed for 1,270 yards and passed for 895 in leading the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the WPIAL Class AA championship game last season, is headed to Michigan State, where he's projected to play safety for the Spartans.
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Cox, who will be a business marketing major, also was Jeannette's leading scorer in basketball as a senior.
“The closer I get to heading out there, the more I cherish the good times here,” said Cox, named this year's Tribune-Review Boys Athlete of the Year.
What has it been like for you since your high school football career at Jeannette concluded, starting with the trip in early-January to Phoenix to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl?
“Honestly, the off-season is the hardest part of the year. I've been working out and trying to have fun with my friends until I start at Michigan State.”
Any second thoughts about your commitment to Michigan State, or do you look forward with great anticipation?
“I feel Michigan State is the right fit for me. I just feel that every time I go up there, I'm more comfortable with the coaching staff. I made the right choice.”
You were known as an offensive threat while running the “O” at Jeannette, but you're expected to be playing in the secondary at Michigan State. How tough might it be for you to put out of your mind the idea of being a quarterback?
“It's not really tough at all. Actually, being a high school quarterback can be used as an advantage. When I would do drills with (Jeannette) coach (Roy) Hall, I would make bad throws on purpose and say, ‘What would you do or what would the quarterback be doing?' I used that to my advantage. I don't have a problem switching my mindframe from quarterback to safety.”
You've said that athletics is only a part of it. What does that mean?
“Grades are really important. My dad's really strict on that. He says you go to school to learn. School's got to be No. 1. He's said that all my life. I understand that and, no matter what level I get to in sports, it won't last forever.”
Your friends call you “De'De'.” How did you get that nickname?
“I'm not really sure. They've been calling me that since I was a baby. I never really got the story. I never really questioned why.”
Which people have had the greatest influence in your life?
“My mom and dad have had a great influence. (Former Jeannette star) Terrelle Pryor was a great mentor, but my parents just worked so hard for me, giving me the resources to be the most successful I can be.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5617.